Cris Criswell: DOW, Humane Society dysfunctional agencies

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To the Editor:

In reference to the "Humane Society Asks for Aggressive Prosecution of Elk Kill Cases" of April 23, I couldn't help but give a view of the true picture. It's called trickle-down funding. In this case, the Department of Wildlife hopes to collect big bucks (money), and the Humane Society hopes some of that money will be donated to them.

After last winter's catastrophic death of hundreds of elk and deer, these two organizations are do-nothing, dysfunctional, useless agencies whose sole purpose is to collect revenue. Neither agency has any interest in wildlife. If the Humane Society had any interest, they would have seen that the animals were fed instead of starving to death. As far as the DOW, I have never known, in my 70 years in this area, of the DOW or (Game and Fish) to do anything positive for the wildlife. I remember years ago some of the heads of Game and Fish being caught hunting water fowl out of season with no licenses. That was covered up quick and nothing was done. Then some years ago, hunting licenses were allowed for up to five deer. Well, the deer were slaughtered and the migratory leaders were killed and the deer could no longer migrate.

Is this game management?

Even now the DOW says there are too many animals and it's nature's course to have winter kill them in great numbers. I say all this hunting in certain areas and drawing for licenses in certain areas is just poor judgment and management because there are still too many animals and they have to starve to death or move to town and eat all the trees and shrubs or anything else they can find. Which is also ranchers' hay. Now, if a rancher calls the DOW about the problem, chances are he will get no response or "you can have some fence when we get it" or "we will replace some of the hay maybe," but it won't be replaced until April and the rancher's hay will have been eaten up in January. So what does one do? Don't you have the right to defend your property?

I went to a meeting about the deer in town, and some suggested shooting them and even mentioned other towns that did that. A couple of ranchers that could not get a response from the do-nothing, dysfunctional, useless DOW did something to save their expensive hay and now they are in trouble when it should be the DOW that is in trouble.

The DOW should have a comprehensive feeding program for the wildlife in the winter months. Wyoming does it and it is very successful. The Game and Fish of Wyoming have hay hauled in to remote areas in the summer, and their people snow machine in daily and feed the elk and deer in the winter.

Someone wrote in on the Craig Daily Press Web site and had it right. Some of the state land needs to be set aside for the wildlife and not all leased to the stock growers. Of course, this might take some doing by the DOW and they are just not up to it. But, until they do, expect your trees and shrubs to be eaten by the wildlife and it will probably get worse before it gets better.

Now it's Craig's Centennial and all the trees and shrubs are a disaster up as high as the deer can reach. Whose fault is it? The do-nothing, dysfunctional, useless Department of Wildlife whose only known function is to levy and collect fines and collect revenue for licenses and do nothing for the starving animals.

Maybe it should really be "Elk Starving Capital of The World Centennial."

Cris Criswell

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